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Surat diamond cluster in rough terrain

Nov '08
Diamond industry has also not spared by the global recession. Reportedly, demand for polished diamonds has plunged drastically and the Surat's polishing units are struggling to survive.

Surat is the diamond polishing hub of India and is known to supply 60 percent of polished diamonds to the US annually. Now, however, the industry seems to have lost its shine.

Experts say that diamond polishing industry of Surat is going through a real bad phase. With lack of liquidity and weak demand, many units are on the verge of closure. Statistics show that around 2,000 smaller diamond units have already shut down. It seems that 250 of them stopped operating in the past six months only.

Insiders inform that the last two quarters of any given year are usually the busiest for Surat's diamond polishing cluster. With festive and holiday seasons across the globe in December, units have no space to breath. The industry marks highest demand for diamonds during pre-Diwali months, thanks to Christmas. Units had to work overtime to complete orders.

However, this year, there is a sluggish atmosphere and employees are not getting enough work to put in the fixed working hours.Recognizing this, the industry has decided to operate five days a week till January-end to avoid any layoffs in the larger interests of 700,000 workers and their families.

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